"Not only is the universe stranger than what we imagine,
it is stranger than what we can imagine."
Sir Arthur Eddington



Kalunamoo is in the water in Trinidad and we are aboard getting ready to island hop north. The plan is to get to Antigua before Thanksgiving, meetup with cruisers we know coming down from the states with the Salty Dawg Rally, and then hang around for a while before flying back to NYC for Christmas. 

Docked at Crews Inn
Docked at Crews Inn

We stay in a marina here for at least two weeks to get Kalunamoo set up for the cruising season. All systems look good, although the dripless shaft seal needed adjustment as soon as we hit the water. Also, I hope that low coolant level caused the engine temperature rise during the short full speed sea trial. I cleaned out the heat exchanger while on the hard and hope it solved the high engine temperature. We’ll see when we sail north. In the meantime, deck scrub down and more in water maintenance is the order of the day before we hit the swimming pool in the afternoon.

We did take a very short visit to New York for Maureen’s last follow-up for her new hip (doing very well) and my 50th class reunion from college (SUNY Maritime). At 50 years since graduation, virtually all classmates are retired. Our professional careers are complete and it was time to consider what we accomplished. A few wrote books about their experiences as there were many Masters and Chief Engineers having sailed in the merchant marine for years. But also harbor pilots, admiralty lawyers, Naval and NOAA officers, international trade and transportation executives, all mostly successful. Each must determine for themselves what constitutes “success” but I will say the school was very successful in preparing men (and now women) in the fields they studied. Life goes on in new directions and for many, hobbies fill the time.

50th Reunion
50th Reunion

The line between a hobby and fantasy is thin. The essence of a hobby, those acts and actions that are completely under our control, arbitrary, arcane, having limited practical utility, are not fantasy. They are real life endeavors and have concrete effects, sometime even fatal. Nonetheless, fantasy is just a breadth away.

Hobbies abound. Playing bridge, painting a bridge, running over a bridge, taking a picture of a bridge, reading about a bridge, singing about a bridge, writing about a bridge - all can be hobbies. Jumping off a bridge may be one of the fatal ones.

The attraction of hobbies, however, involve a certain amount of fantasy. Who, when playing golf, does not envision playing a round for the PGA? That great day sailing on the water? I’m leading in the America’s cup!

Sure, you must learn, practice and conjure the intricacies. Laying that ball down with just the right amount of spin to hit those ten pins perfectly so they all fall down just like the Radio City Rockettes wooden soldiers. Playing that smooth transposing riff sounding just like Eric Clapton. That great line of prose should pass for what Hemingway had written. That pass to the running back was just like…well you get the idea. Fantasy is just a notion away and underlies all successful executions of hobbies.

For us, sailing is more than a hobby, but it does contain a certain amount of fantasy. The Pirate Life? The Great Explorers? Living off the Land (or the Net or on the water) Life? Sure. Each takes a turn in our daily life. Reality does intrude at times but life without fantasy may be like food without spice: its eatable but bland. We try not to lead a bland life!